“Criminologists are with him,” police spokesperson Manfred Etzel said. “It is definitely him and he is uninjured.”
Children playing in an abandoned army barracks near the eastern German town of Nohra discovered the moody television star and called police. “Bernd is here,” one of the children reportedly said.
Leftist squatters reported via Youtube video last week that they had kidnapped a two-metre-tall likeness of the surly orange-brown tin loaf to protest their eviction from an occupied building in the eastern German city of Erfurt. He went missing from his post in front of the city hall building weeks ago and a letter from a group of squatters claiming responsibility for the abduction soon surfaced. Then the leftists followed up with a video of their doughy “hostage” complete with commentary sympathetic to the squatter's plight in Bernd's own deep voice.
But police said they were taking great efforts to properly identify the find. “We want to be sure it's not a Doppelgänger,“ Etzel said, adding that the 125-kilogramme Bernd will be swiftly returned to his post in the Erfurt city centre.
The award-winning loaf of bread for Erfurt-based children TV channel Kinderkanal (Ki.Ka) is known for being irredeemably fatalistic as he endures countless hardships in life, such as having very short arms.
Negotiations between city authorities and squatters known as Team 129 A broke down weeks ago after the building occupants rejected an offer for alternative housing. Their eviction was postponed on Friday until February 15, according to the group's website. Their squat is to be converted into apartments and office space.